Well the ASG-1 passed the subway test this morning, I would say they isolated as well as my TF10 with Complys and leaps and bounds better than the IE8 (Not a fair comparison since the IE8 is ported). I think I have improved my fit issues by using the memory wire to help push them and keep them tucked in my ear. They definitely have opened up more after letting them run all night.
I just swapped the T500 Comply for my usual IE8 tip which is a standard Sony large silicone tip with a de-cored Comply foam underneath. This helped improved the insertion angle and really opened up the top end compared to the Comply. Dale, if you happen to read this, please find some better tips to supply your customers. Head-Fiers have drawers of tips to play with but I doubt the pro-audio crowd or average consumer will. And please consider maybe breaking them in so they sound great out of the box. I see Sound Professionals is starting to offer that as a service with the ATH-M50.
After about 18 hours of burn in and approx 90 minutes of listening I feel my initial negative feeling toward these are starting to change. I can't say that they are NOT my preferred signature, actually the opposite, but I might learn to really enjoy them. I'm trying to be open minded about these. After 5 years and thousands of dollars here at Head-Fi, one thing is for sure, I'm still learning to appreciate new sounds and new music every day.
Pros for me so far:
-These are a very lively IEM, they add somewhat of a live performance signature to ambient recordings. I haven't heard them, but these are what i would envision the Monster Gratitude to sound like.
-Plenty of sub bass when called for but not bass heavy at all.
-Fit and finish is great, cable is good and does not seem to be very microphonic.
-Sensitive and easy to drive, my iPhone can drive them to deafening levels.
Cons but possibly will change with more break in:
-I find the midrange to be a bit congested and nasally. Especially with the Comply foam. There is also a hint of harshness or a weird resonance at this frequency band (I'm guessing around 1-2K). A little EQ might fix it but I prefer not to EQ. It's like sibilance but on the mids and not in the usual higher frequencies. Again, more break in and usage might remedy this.
-Fit is a bit finicky for my ears, they can start to push themselves out which in turn starts to hurt my ears where they make contact. That might change when I get used to them.
-Female Vocals are not their strong suit IMHO. Not a deal breaker for me, that's why I bought the ESW9. I'm playing with a small piece of open cell foam in the tip of the sound bore to see if it smooths things out and to filter these to be more like my preferred sound signature, it definitely make singers like Diana Krall much more listenable on these with the expense of rolling off a bit of treble. Liking this little mod very much right now.
I'm going to hold off on any comparisons until these are at 100 hours.
Edited by dosley01 - 2/14/12 at 6:16am